After 44 years of serving in one capacity or another, Kingston Town Board Member Leslie Nielsen is moving on.
“I’m getting old, I’m not far from 90,” Nielsen said.
As a young man, Nielsen had a military career that took him to Germany for more than two years.
“They kept sending me to school,” Nielsen said. He served stints in the Army, Air Force and National Guard.
However, once he was done with that career, Nielsen moved to Kingston with his wife, where they raised their seven children together. He has been self-employed as an auto-mechanic and a business owner and farmer.
“Our youngest is 51 now,” Nielsen said.
Shortly after moving to Kingston, he ran for the town board, where he has been serving ever since. He even spent eight years as mayor of the town.
“There are always a lot of things you’d like to get accomplished,” Nielsen said. One such project was a complete renovation of Kingston’s town hall, which was completed in 1976, Nielsen said. He said using some $20,000 in grant funding and another $1,000 raised by the local congregation of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the building was “completely rejuvenated.”
Through the years, Nielsen has helped with numerous water projects and other improvements to the town, including the razing and removal of an old church.
“It takes a lot of people,” Nielsen said. “I’ve enjoyed working with the other members of the town board.”
Through the years, Nielsen said the board has been careful not to overspend, and would like to see that continue.
“You get to know the other board members like family,” Nielsen said. “You have your ups and downs, but in the end you come to a better conclusion for the town.”
One particularly cold winter, the town’s water system froze up. Nielsen said town board members worked to run pipe over the ground in order to deliver water to the town.
Another project Nielsen said he was glad to be part of was the building of a post office facility. During a round of U.S. Postal Service, Kingston Town opted to build a facility so it could keep a place for people to pick up their mail.
“It’s a nice meeting place,” Nielsen said. He said people routinely meet at the post office, pick up their mail and visit. His wife, Lena, was the postmaster for Kingston for 28 years.
Leslie said he stayed on the town board because he loves the community, and working with the people in it.
“Kingston is a jumping off place for Otter Creek, and hunting,” Nielsen said.